The Fertilizer Institute reports that U.S. DAP/MAP inventories are still 4% below year-ago levels, but a decline in U.S. Phosphate exports coupled with a 6% increase in production have placed supplies just 3% below five-year levels. U.S. inventories were up 21% over November, '12 in the month of December.
Average prices for DAP/MAP fell over the last week and are below year-ago pricing points in the world market. Phosphate rock from Morocco held steady over the week, but remains $24.00 below last year's price at $173.00 per metric ton. Ammonia, however remains significantly higher over the same time last year at $673.00 -- $118.00 higher year-over.
DAP and MAP both posted price increases in this week's Monitor Index as slow world demand has producer inventories increasing, but domestic Phosphates have shown an overall pricing decline over the last month. So far, producer shipments to U.S. downstream outlets are reported to be brisk compared to last year suggesting higher pricing points are set for DAP/MAP in the short-term.
North American stocks have struggled to match 2011 levels since March 2012 when producer inventories fell behind year-over, but are closing the gap quickly.
Egypt continues to report natural gas supply problems and this will affect global supply/demand balances for ammonia. That, along with increased demand for Urea in India will keep ammonia stocks tight and prevent Phosphates from finding much room to the downside here at home.